THE PARADES on Netflix is essentially a ghost movie from Japan. All the main characters have died, but are still hanging around due to regrets and unfinished business. It is an amazing movie. Do not miss it. Read our full The Parades movie review here!

THE PARADES is a new Netflix movie from Japan. The genre is listed simply as drama, which isn’t wrong. However, we’re covering it because it’s also very much a ghost movie. Also, this is an amazing movie and you really do not want to miss out on it.

It has an official runtime of 2 hours and 12 minutes, but it doesn’t feel too long. Also, the last six minutes or so are end credits. You will want to watch most of those, however. They still have details that wrap up the story, you’ve just watched. Overall, this movie is about life and death, love and loss, but more than anything, it offers hope and closure.

Continue reading our The Parades movie review below. Find it on Netflix from February 29, 2024.

A life after death – or the one before?

The title of The Parades doesn’t appear on screen until after a half hour. This is when the story of our characters truly begins. Until this point, we’ve been introduced to a world that looks familiar, yet is cut off from the world of the living.

The story begins with Minako (Masami Nagasawa of Mother) as she wakes up on a beach. Something terrible has happened, and as this is in Japan, earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis are only too familiar. Minako desperately searches for her son, Ryo, when she discovers nobody can see or hear her.

This is when a young man named Akira (Kentaro Sakaguchi) finds her wandering around aimlessly. She is thrilled that someone can finally see and hear her, but will soon discover why. Akira is part of a very assorted group of people, who have all died. They have remained here on Earth due to unfinished business – or “regret” as they put it.

While The Parades is about these ghosts hanging around, it isn’t as much a movie about life after death. It’s more about the life they had before they died. What did they do and what didn’t they do. In essence, it’s about finding the reasons for them still being here, when they should be on the other side. Not in this place that is somewhere in-between.

Quite the assorted group of ghosts

When we see the group of ghosts, they appear perfectly normal and are carrying on a new kind of “life” not unlike the living. However, rest assured that you will get an explanation of how they have a place to live, food to eat, and even vehicles to ride around in.

In other words, don’t worry about it, the story does deal with all these things. All you need to keep in mind is that dead things can clearly interact with one another. That much is clear from the beginning!

The group Minako finds herself in is a very diverse group, where the ghosts have been hanging around for very different amounts of time. They always try to receive their newest members gently, but it can be difficult. Still, they do their best. Always!

The people (or ghosts) include the former yakuza Shori (Ryusei Yokohama), the film producer Michael (Lily Franky from Shoplifters), and the young literary enthusiast, Akira (Kentaro Sakaguchi), who finds Minako lost and alone. Also, there’s the pub owner, Kaori (Shinobu Terajima, and the former banker, Tanaka (Tetsushi Tanaka).

Finally, towards the final part of the movie, a newcomer to the group arrives. Her name is Nana (Nana Mori) and she’s a high school student who lost all hope. Seeing what happens in the world she left behind is heartbreaking – not least for Nana.

The Parades (2024) – Review | Netflix Ghost Movie

A love letter to life and cinema

At first, Minako struggles with accepting that she is no longer in the world of the living. As would anyone, I expect. However, finding her son is still a priority for her, so she focuses on this instead. That includes joining in a monthly “Parade” where all the dead people gather in one place.

There is a rule that everyone gathers on this one day every month. The reason is that they can all search for those they hope to see again. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking to witness people who find someone alongside those who are disappointed yet again.

Mostly, though, it’s heartwarming. It turns out that while some think of revenge just after they’ve died, most are quick to focus on love and loss instead.

When this movie began, it reminded me of the 1990 movie Ghost where Patrick Swayze’s character has to come to terms with having died. However, while there are sweet and funny moments, this is not a comedy. Later, it reminded me more of City of Angels during the scenes where large groups of people gather together. They are present yet no longer part of this world.

I don’t make these comparisons to say that The Parades is a hybrid of movies already made, but just to give you an idea of what to expect. The Parades is entirely its own film. And it’s one that is ultimately a love letter to life, love, and filmmaking. The latter ultimately turns out to be a key element of the story.

Life, love, and movies? Now, that is something I can relate to!

Watch The Parades on Netflix now!

The Parades on Netflix comes from Michihito Fujii, who wrote and directed the movie. This ghost story comes across as both very universal and extremely personal. Especially as the dedication comes at the end. I mean, this is a movie where filmmaking and watching movies on big screens (as well as small) is a huge theme.

In fact, communication of all sorts is at the heart of this story. Especially as the main characters have passed away and can no longer communicate with their loved ones. It’s a classic case of “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” and told with so much heart and integrity.

Writer-director Michihito Fujii also directed the 2023 movie The Village which is also on Netflix. Where The Parades is very heartfelt and emotional, The Village is more brutal and emotional. The two are very different in most ways, yet have many of the same qualities. Also, both are extremely character-driven, which is their ultimate strength.

The Parade is out on Netflix from February 29, 2024.


Director: Michihito Fujii
Screenplay: Michihito Fujii
Stars: Masami Nagasawa, Kentaro Sakaguchi, Ryusei Yokohama, Nana Mori, Yuina Kuroshima, Ayumu Nakajima, Takuya Wakabashi, Mai Fukagawa, Denden, Hiroshi Tachi, Yukiya Kitamura, Hana Kino, Daiken Okudaira, Tetsushi Tanaka, Shinobu Terajima, Lily Franky


A mother searches for her missing son after a devastating calamity, only to realize that she has died and is now confined to a realm of restless spirits.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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